At 33, Celeste Mercer lost her father to Alzheimer's less than a year ago. She helped care for him for 7 years.

"I'm sorry to get emotional, but it is another level," Mercer told 11Alive's Jennifer Leslie. "My dad was diagnosed in my 20's, I was dealing with it head-on as a caregiver in my early 30's."

As a major in the national guard, Mercer's dad taught her to be tough.

But nothing prepared her for his battle with Alzheimer's.

She eventually found support through the Alzheimer's Association, Georgia Chapter.

"We actually started a young caregivers support group," Mercer said. "It's a unique setting because there are more and more of us who have parents who have younger onset Alzheimer's. It's good to have people you can talk to."

According to the latest numbers from the Alzheimer's Association, there are about 200,000 people in the U.S. under the age of 65 who have younger on-set Alzheimer's.

Many are diagnosed in their 40's and 50's.

On Tuesday, Mercer will be one of 300 people gathering at the Georgia Capitol to encourage lawmakers to make Alzheimer's care a priority.

They'll push for funding for home and community-based services and access to quality long-term care.